Michael Gottlieb chats with Kayla C ordero, left, and Karen Sorey during a farewell get-together at the Civic Center, Tuesday. Cordero and Storey, both teachers at Military Heights Elementary, are also retiring. Mark Wilson Photo
Although his retirement does not become effective until June 30, Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Mike Gottlieb was sent off with a message from a representative of each of the district’s schools. A 30-year veteran of the district, Gottlieb was honored at his retirement party, Tuesday, by a packed Convention Center.
Each representative joked that their school or their staff or their students were his favorite, as Gottlieb tenderly looked on at all of them. And each school left Gottlieb with a memento, mostly in the form of a photograph, frequently describing the superintendent as their mentor and friend.
Gottlieb is known for his storybook rise in public education from 6th-grade teacher at Missouri Avenue, to principal of Military Heights, to RISD superintendent. Additionally, he served as director of Instructional Programs and assistant superintendent for instruction.
In his remarks, RISD School Board President Mackenzie Hunt equated the celebration to Gottlieb graduating from the RISD.
Mayor Del Jurney, who regards Gottlieb as a friend, noted “the thousands of little lives he has touched.” Jurney read a proclamation declaring May 22, 2012, as Mike Gottlieb Day.
Overwhelmed with emotion after the celebration, Gottlieb said he will remember his tenure by the “community support for our kids. That’s been very important to me. Our community saw the need and they we’re willing to come in and help our staff and our kids to have better facilities, better teaching environments so that our teaches can do a better job. When businesses come to Roswell and look at Roswell they see that we are supported as an educational institution.”
Gottlieb listed the new grading system, teacher and principal evaluations, and “big things coming down the road,” from the Public Education Department and the federal government, as challenges for his successor. Yet he gave reassurance in the form of an experienced staff, the majority of whom will be staying on for the next school year.
As for what’s next for him, “Just kind of relaxing for right now. It’s been 30 years,” Gottlieb said.